Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Other Side

First of all let me start by saying Ramadan Kareem to everyone. i am sorry i dont blog as much as i used to but life is busy with lulu and even busier when ur fasting. First Ramadan in the US and its a LOooong Day. iftar around 8:15 pm now 7:55pm. i was thinking a lot about my previous post and i feel i was not very fair and i spoke about all the good in the states and didn't mention any bad and maybe even sounded like i was looking down on the Middle East. so let me start by apologizing to anyone who was offended or got that feeling because that was not the intention at all. I have lived all my life in the Middle East and i love a lot of things about it and i also hate a lot of things. Its normal and no matter where you are there is good an bad.

And all my life i grew up with this wrong idea about the states and maybe coming here and seeing that its not like what i had in mind is what made me react this way. i used to think i would come here and ppl would curse me and throw stuff at me cause i wear the headscarf. i thought people would just give me death looks and treat me bad cause of my hijab. i was surprised to see that they were friendly and even complement me on my headscarf all the time.

I still know that there are alot that judge me and are uncomfortable around me and just because they smile in my face does not mean they want to befriend me. Some smile because they dont want to piss me off cause i could be a possible "terrorist". I know that when lulu cries people look at me as if i just hit her. I dont want them to love me. as long as i am respected that is more important to me.

Today i was in the elevator. a black man entered the elevator. he was staring at me with his bloodshot eyes. smiling and murmuring something. lots of people murmur and talk to themselves here. usually the homeless ones. some scream out things to you and well you should usually ignore them. anyway. this guy stood there. with only me and him in the elevator. staring and said. " Ur so beautiful" and came closer. i freaked out. i felt unsafe. scared. a fear i have never felt before. memories of the story i read earlier about the NY cab muslim driver that was slashed came to my mind. i started reading quran in my head. he wanted to shake my hand. i didnt know what to do. i wanted to pull my hand away but i was too late. he held my hand tightly and pulled it towards his face and KISSED IT a very sloppy ya3333 kisss ! ii could not have been happier to hear the "TINGGG" sound of the elevator reaching the floor i get off at! i rushed out the door and pushed lulus stroller so fast i think i woke her up from her nap. i could still feel spit on my hand! EWWW!

My point is. i admit that no matter how friendly people can be i know that i dont feel safe. its not like walking down the street in the UAE. I turn on the news and everyday you hear about a SHOOTING or homicide. a hit and run. you see a man selling drugs right around the corner by the house. You see drunk homeless ppl in the street. you see things you dont see in the middleast and i miss that feeling in the middle east. Safety. well at least SAFER.

my husband also brought to my attention that every time he traveled to the states without me no one stopped him for an extra hand search and full bag search. it was only when i travel with him that they choose us randomly for and extra "regular" procedures.

i was walking down the street and i saw an old lady trip and fall as she was passing the street. she bumped her head and could not move. she layed there on the floor on the side of the street. ppl gathered and called the paramedics. Saddest thing i have ever seen. how helpless she layed there
her old hands shaking. her groceries on the floor.. actually she had bought 2 packs of cookies.
I admired how the policeman that arrived spoke to her and told her she would be okay. she held on to his hand so tightly with a smile on her face. she caressed her face and kept holding on to his hand. he kept saying " i aint goin no where you'll be okay maam". all this time she had a smile on her face. a smile so wide. like she has not had this much attention in so long. a smile that held so many words. made me realize that yes you might see a lot of handicapped people in the street, you might see many old ladies pushing a small cart with their groceries when they can barely walk. walking to the supermarket alone. walking home alone. i used to see that as a positive thing and yes it is good that old people should not all be put in homes and just give up on life. but in the middleast most our elderly people are not the ones going to buy the groceries because they have children or grandchildren who would do that for them. i cant imagine my gradnma goin to buy groceries onher own! they would not be pushing their electronic wheelchairs to the supermarket but would be taken care of. yes of course there are always exceptions here and there.

I miss the sound of adan. i miss the good arabic food. shawerma. fatayer. esepcially in Ramadan. you want to eat REAL food! crunchy cheese samboosa.... tabuleh... ma7sheee wara2 3inaab... ya salamm *drooling... finding mulookhiye was an event here for me!!!

when i walk in the streets here i see all sorts of things... things i would never have seen in the arab world. some amusing. some disturbing. i admire how they are confident and how they speak thier mind. i love how they just say what is on their mind. how they hold doors for each other. how they do whatever they want without thinking who is going to say what. but i admit sometimes its just.. weird... when you see a really fat lady dancing in the street with a box on her head saying " vote for mayor blabla" while she shakes her booty wearing really tight tights exposing layer and layers of blubber ..

you see women wearing barely anything with shorts i can used as head bands for lulu. you see gay men walking like they are on a catwalk with full make up hand in hand with thier "lover". you see a dog liking his owners face while he talks and actually probably swallowed all the dog slobber and spit. you see a lot of things some funny. som weird. some disturbing.

what im tryin to say here. there is good. and there is bad. i wish we took the good. like those great educational kid shows and books that you never see on tv or in book shops. A nice hello how is your day, have a good day. Salam Alikom for a change instead of glaring at each other from head to toe without a smile even. I am willing to make a change in myself. i want to take for the good that i have seen here and thank God that we don't have all the bad i have seen.

You also hear things like a church burning the Holy Quran & 70 % of the votes against building the Ground Zero Mosque close to where the twin towers are.And yes i am sure that there are a lot of people who dont support this. but truth is there are alot that do.

Just because someone did something wrong in the name of islam does not mean ISLAM is to blame for mistakes individuals make! I remember hearing more than one story about priests being pedophiles and molesting children. Does that mean i blame christianity? Does that mean all christians are like that? Does that mean you dont take you children to church or build anymore churches? NO when things like that happen you blame the person and not the religion. Stop blaming ISLAM and muslims all around the world for mistakes they did not make. And know that many muslims died on sep 11th.

My hubby brought to my attention.. now with the floods and crisis in Pakistan.. the donations and is aids are so slow in comparison to the Haiti earthquake donations..

these are thought i should have addressed in my previous post as well. and now i feel i have said both sides and i surely will miss a lot in the US and i there is also a lot that i will not miss.

Al Hamdulilah & Sorry this was long.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

why i love amreeka

so i am back in the states and will be here for ramadan inshala.. fasting will be hard cause the days are so long here but al hamdulilah. Ramadan is about being with family and that is why im glad we are together here.

Now let me start about my love for amreeka... lots ask me.. what do you love so much about america? well its not just america. its not that love america because its america. i got this same feeling in london & scotland. This feeling of being free of society "3u2ad". before you become judegemental and analyze that sentence in your own way let me explain further. in the arab world i feel lots of things are frowned upon and they are not necessarily wrong. i am not talking about people being too free and openminded and walking around exposing thier blubber or another form of cheeks that is supposed to be be under the bantaloon! i am talking about being setting yourself free from " he said/she said/what will they say?" thinking. here in the states pretty much everyone does what they wants and no one really cares! you will find weird people walking around in thier PJ's, or barefoot, or with punk hairstyles and what i respect most about what ihave seen in this side of the world! is that people who are handicapped are SEEN everwhere and live a NORMAL life.. i dont remember the last time i saw a handicapped person working in the middleeast! i feel there if someone has a deformity or is handicapped even if its a slight handicap they hide. like its something to be ashamed of. you dont see them shopping, working or in the street! its sad.. this is how is should be.

here they find jobs. they live a normal life a life they can never have in the arab world because there they will always be seen as handicapped.

i love how people are so friendly. they open doors and always say things like " have a good day" " have a good one" and when they pass out compliments to strangers. i got many compliments on my HIJAB believe it or not! its just here you feel like you are a human being.

dont get me wrong i do see the bad side as well. but that doesnt mean i cant see the good. i love this feeling of being in a place where not everything is frowned upon and unaccepted. we grew up feeling that appearances are everything. i was told i was "dabdooba" (fatso), four(eyed) as a kid by some ppl although iwas never really fat i was just a bit chubby. so we grow up with so many comments like that in our heads making our self esteem get lower by the second. you will say this is also found inthe US.. yes ofcourse. but i feel there is an awareness here especially by parents and they treat thier kids in a way that they make them grow up to be very confident and independant.

i saw a very unattractive saggy and wrinkly lady in the street who was wearing a very revealing top. she was talking to a man saying " they are all jealous of me".... ok .. this woman is either in denial.. or just VERY CONFIDENT.. some people you wonder where they bring all that confidence!

anyway.. my point is.. from my expereince in amreeka. i feel more like a human being here. i feel like i am not worried what people will think of me. like if lulu ran in the park and i wanted to run after her. i would not look around to see if there is a group of old anties whispering things like " shoofi hal majnooneh hay".. yes i like to do crazy things sometimes and i dont like to be judged.

oh and ofcourse... not to forget... the best cupcakes ever created on earth.... georgetown cupcakes... *faints

and target... the place where you can find anything u need..

and ofcourse....... ben & jerry icecream..

i <3 amreeka.